OCEAN members get briefing on AJAX technologies by author Jeff Olen; board sets date for this summer's technical conference.
The room was filled with RPG programmers, and the question on the minds of many was: Where do we go from here?
I attended the OCEAN User Group monthly meeting on March 16, and the nearly filled room in the newly redecorated IBM offices in Costa Mesa, California, heard a presentation by author Jeff Olen speaking on AJAX and the IBM i.
Olen gets into the nitty gritty when he gives a talk and shows the code that solves the problem the customer had that required bringing in a programmer. In last night's demo, it was a project for a call center that wanted to display the cities next to a series of rolling phone numbers. He solved the problem with AJAX and gave attendees some insight into what AJAX is and why you might want to become familiar with it.
As Jeff pointed out last night, AJAX is not a language. It is a collection of interrelated Web development techniques used to create interactive Web applications. The basic premise behind AJAX is that you can reduce bandwidth and the time it takes to load new information from a Web site into a browser if you update only the new content, not the entire page. Using asynchronous requests in the background lets the browser respond quicker to inputs without changing the display of an existing page. (Requests do not have to be asynchronous, however.) AJAX allows individual sections of a page to reload, giving users the impression that an application is running faster even if little has actually happened on the server.
- GWT Web UI class library—a collection of classes and custom interfaces for creating widgets
Why would a programmer care about such things? The idea is to stay competitive with what's going on around you, but more importantly, to improve the Web experience of users. As Google says, "The experience we want to optimize is the Web experience. The Web has different DNA than desktop applications, and GWT was designed to be of the Web tradition rather than providing a way of slavishly cloning desktop idioms in a browser."
As Tony Robbins once said, "You are now at a crossroads. This is your opportunity to make the most important decision you will ever make. Forget your past. Who are you now? Who have you decided you really are now? Don't think about who you have been. Who are you now? Who have you decided to become? Make this decision consciously. Make it carefully. Make it powerfully."
He also said, "What we can or cannot do, what we consider possible or impossible, is rarely a function of our true capability. It is more likely a function of our beliefs about who we are."
RPG programmers attending the OCEAN meeting last night represented a small group of the organization's total membership; however, this is a group who has decided to embrace the future. For free training on HTML and AJAX, visit http://www.w3schools.com.
For a short video interview with Jeff Olen at the OCEAN meeting, click here.